Bhubaneswar: Minister of Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Ranendra Pratap Swain, on Wednesday expressed assurance that the paddy procurement centres in Odisha are operating according to the guidelines and instructions laid down by his department.
Answering to Opposition's questions on paddy procurement issues in the State, the minister confidently said that with the arrangements done currently, farmers in the State don't need to wait for miller trucks at the 'mandis' for hauling up their paddy stocks.
However, the real scenario is quite different from the picture painted by the minister. Several incidents of farmers reeling under distress due to delay in procurement, mandi issues and MSP are being reported from various parts of the State.
Hundreds of quintals of paddy sacks are currently stockpiled at a mandi in Junagad block of Kalahandi district forcing farmers to guard their produce day and night.
"The administration has been fooling us by making false promises for last several days. Every time they promise to lift our produce on time but do not take action. We are tired of requesting the government and are distressed due to the present situation," said a farmer Gunanidhi Sahoo.
Earlier on July 10, the farmers of Charbahal area staged road blockade on National Highway 26 demanding lifting of paddy from mandis. The farmers removed the blockade after the administrative officials reached the spot and assured to resolve the issues.